Ghost And Bone by Andrew PrenticeGhost And Bone by Andrew Prentice

Ghost And Bone

byAndrew Prentice

Hardcover | August 13, 2019

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A twisty middle grade adventure standalone for fans of Neil Gaiman and Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow about a cursed boy who embarks on a journey into a magical city of ghosts to find out who he really is.

Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid—aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.

Just when he thinks things can't get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed—the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?

"Hauntingly entertaining."—BCCB, starred review 
Andrew Prentice is the author of two critically acclaimed YA historical novels: Black Arts and Devil's Blood. He likes his stories like he likes his coffee: rich, dark brews in a painstakingly crafted and historically accurate vessel, preferably served by a demon--though a ghost will do just as well. Black Arts was shortlisted for the ...
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Title:Ghost And BoneFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:224 pages, 8.52 × 5.75 × 0.79 inShipping dimensions:8.52 × 5.75 × 0.79 inPublished:August 13, 2019Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525643931

ISBN - 13:9780525643937

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Read from the Book

“Hold tight, Mr. Jenkinson,” Oscar Grimstone said. I’m just going to lean in a bit here. Don’t mind me.” Mr. Jenkinson made no reply. But then, his mouth was sewn shut with tiny, invisible stitches, so he couldn’t have complained even if he wasn’t dead.   Oscar carefully slipped the bow tie around the man’s neck.   He caught a strong whiff of porridge as he did it. That was normal. Before Oscar’s mum sewed her clients’ mouths closed, she always tucked in a few bags of oats to plump up their cheeks. It was one of her secrets.   “Nice floppy knot . . .” Oscar’s fingers twirled nimbly. “We don’t want it to look like a clip-on, do we?”   She had loads of little secrets, his mum. Odd things happened to a body after it died, and it took even odder things to make it seem like they hadn’t.   What we do is an art, she liked to say. Don’t you forget it, Oscar.   Oscar didn’t need convincing. Leaky, stinky stiffs were carried in the back door and peaceful dreamers went out the front to the graveyard. He knew undertaking was magic.   “How does that feel for you, Mr. Jenkinson?” Oscar cocked his head to one side, admiring his handiwork.   Again, Mr. Jenkinson kept up his poker face—but Oscar was sure that if his client could talk he’d be delighted. The bow tie was perfect. The cuffs were perfectly ironed, the hands folded and dusted with talcum powder. You could only faintly make out the smell of embalming chemicals, which Oscar pumped into Mr. Jenkinson to keep his body fresh, just like with Egyptian mummies. A few spritzes of aftershave did the trick. He’d done a fine job. “Very dapper. You know, loads of your family are coming to see you on your big day, plus half the town. Popular guy.” Oscar glanced at the grinning picture of the living Mr. Jenkinson as he picked up a comb. “And you wore a side part, right?”   Carefully, because dead people’s skin had a nasty habit of peeling off if you tugged it too hard, he began to comb Mr. Jenkinson’s hair.   Oscar was fully aware that twelve-year-old boys aren’t often found chatting away with corpses, or combing their hair, but truth be told, Oscar was at his best around the dead. Secretly, he preferred them to living people. They didn’t ask awkward questions or say he smelled of bleach. They were good listeners.   And dead people also talked, so long as you knew the right way to look. You could tell a lot about a person from their corpse.   Take Mr. Jenkinson: Oscar knew that he’d smoked at least thirty cigarettes a day, because he’d seen the yellow stains on his fingers. He knew that he’d smiled a lot, because when he was doing his makeup, the deepest wrinkles were the laugh lines around his eyes. He knew from the tattoo Mr. Jenkinson had over his heart that he’d once loved a girl named Mabel very much. Oscar wondered if Mr. Jenkinson had met up with Mabel wherever he’d gone.   “One last touch and then you’re ready.” Oscar took a deep breath as he glanced at the vase of lilies by the door.   He’d been dreading this moment. He reached for his crutch, which was leaning against the wall beneath a framed photo of his dad. You can do it, Oscar, his father’s voice seemed to say. Oscar limped across the room, ignoring the dull pain that always cramped up his leg if he stood in one spot for too long.   He couldn’t keep his fingers from trembling a little as he snatched up the largest flower. He cut it down for size, nearly nicking his fingers he went so fast. Then he scuttled back toward the corpse, moving as fast as his bad leg permitted.   But he wasn’t fast enough. Just before he got to Mr. Jenkinson, the flower withered. The petals turned black and fell to the floor.   “No,” Oscar hissed. “Not again.”   “Osky? Are you finished, love?” His mum poked her head around the door. “I’m just going down to the shops— will you . . .” She narrowed her eyes. “What are you hiding behind your back?” “Nothing, Mum,” Oscar lied. He kicked the petals under the table. The dead flower was scrunched up in his fist.   Oscar didn’t want her to know.   He didn’t want anyone to know about the Curse, which was what he’d started calling it. Problem was, people were starting to notice, especially at school.   When it was his turn to feed the class’s tropical fish, he’d sprinkled some flakes into the tank. The next thing he knew, Jerry the clown fish was bobbing on the surface, white belly up. Nobody felt worse for poor Jerry than Oscar, but after that, Gary Stevens started whispering about how he’d poisoned him. The whispers spread quickly.   That was nothing compared to what had happened in the last PE lesson before the end of the year. They always made him goalie—because of his leg, he couldn’t run. But this time every blade of grass around him had withered and died. It looked like he’d sprayed a big circle of weed killer on the penalty spot. Then the whispers became taunts. As usual, Gary Stevens and his goons were the worst. They sneered at him every time they passed in the hallways.   Killer boy. Ghoul. Freak.

Editorial Reviews

"With genuinely despicable bad guys and the sort of good guys who are undeniably fun to root for, Prentice’s first foray into middle-grade fiction is hauntingly entertaining."–Bulletin, starred review “A rollicking adventure with imaginative world building…. will evoke laughter and tug heartstrings.”—Booklist“A comforting choice for readers nervously anticipating their own first day of school or who are worried about making new friends.” —School Library Journal